May 19, 2006

A Dim Bulb In Searchlight

Via the Washington Times:

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called a proposal to make English the official language "racist" on the Senate floor yesterday.

"This amendment is racist. I think it's directed basically to people who speak Spanish," the Democrat said during the already tense debate over immigration reform.

So, asking people to speak English is a nation that speaks predominately English, is not only wrong, but racist?

Somebody better tell these folks.

Even though these people can tie their ethnic origins to Mexico, Africa, Korea and India, they all speak English here, even though at least two are fluent in other languages.

I work with people from Spain, Sierra Leone, and Germany as well as the United States, and they all speak English in addition to their native languages of Spanish, French, and German. Why? Because we are predominately an English-speaking country, and to integrate into American society and get all of it that it has to offer economically and culturally, you need to learn English.

Perhaps it is because I work with immigrants that I understand this basic fact that seems lost on the good Senator from Searchlight.

If anything, encouraging people to keep to their native tongues after they immigrate to another culture is to invite isolationism and advocate resisting assimilation. Of course this amendment is directed to people who speak Spanish, as they are our largest immigrant group at the present time. If people are going to legally immigrate to this country, we want them to be able to take advantage of all America has to offer. So much of that opportunity can be crippled by a language barrier, and therefore it is vital they learn English. To encourage people to remain illiterate in a nation's primary language is to isolate them and leave them as second-class citizens Balkanized from the rest of society.

To pander to people in such a way as to isolate them, to try to convince them that their language barrier—which robs them of so many opportunities—is a source of pride, well, that is a racist sentiment, Harry.

Got that?


Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 19, 2006 09:29 AM | TrackBack

But you don't understand, if the Dems keep them speaking spanish they won't get what the country has to offer. They will get what the Democrats have to offer, welfare, social security, etc, etc.

Posted by: ticketplease at May 19, 2006 09:42 AM

Wow, just about the dumbest thing that I have ever heard that came from an educated man. If you come to this country Legally, or for those Illegals that are allowed to stay, learning the language is just a beginning for an education for a better life.

Posted by: Retired Navy at May 19, 2006 10:45 AM

I agree that English should be mandatory, but why not start something right now. Namely if you go to any store (such as Lowes) and look at the goods (such as fertilizer) you can barely tell what the product is due to the mixing of Spanish and English. Perhaps a boycott of selected companies would change the use of English back to were it was a couple of years ago.
I don't know if you saw the news about the Ensign amendment being defeated so that now we have to pay the SS and medicare for illegals. This really troubles me as this is not something offered to US citizens now. If you work for a city or state government your work does not count to SS or medicare. I had a very tragic incident a few years ago were a previously very health and hard working man developed a cardiomyopathy. He had lost his job with the city and did not qualify for SS and medicare. If he had these he could have had a heart transplant and be alive today. The government would not allow this. Yet we can now allow illegals this higher level of care and concern.
I predict we are gearing for another civil war.

Posted by: David Caskey at May 19, 2006 11:11 AM

So this should mean that if Harry does not want to be considered a racist he should start speaking Spanish during congressional meetings and debates as well I presume that we are now going to have the Declaration, Bill of Rights and the Constitution now written in Spanish as we do not want to offend.

I have a question in regards to the Social Security issue. Are they not going to have a slight issue with the right to Social Security as the illegal immigrants that have been paying into it have been using false and sometimes stolen identities? As these are misdemeanors and or felonies and I believe if I am not mistaken that they voted that anyone committing or who has committed a felony or three misdemeanors as not being able to get citzenship? How will this one work out?

Posted by: NLC at May 19, 2006 01:02 PM

David I think you're missing part of the story on the City and State workers not being able to qualify for Social Security or Medicare.

As state employees my wife and I contribute to SS & Medicare. I receive, like everyone else, a statement that tells me how much I qualify for when I retire, or heaven forbid something happens to be and I'm forced out on disability or I die.

My wife's grandmother is a retired teacher, as part of her income she gets a check from Social Security every month. My father-in-law due to complications with diabetes had to have his left leg amputated just below his knee and is in sever risk of the same occurring with his right foot. At the time he was a state employee. A portion of his disability income is from the state and portion through social security. His insurance: Medicare.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the federal employment laws, but I'm pretty sure all employees are required to contribute and once eligible everyone can draw from SS and Medicare.

Posted by: phin at May 19, 2006 01:33 PM

On SS. It depends on your state. Yours has elected to participate. Many states do not. City and state governments are not required to participate as a business (remember states rights and sovernty?). Louisiana does not participate and I am a state employee. So I do not have a contribution. When I was in private practice they used medicare in particular as a hidden tax. One self employeed paid a lot more than everyone else.

Posted by: David Caskey at May 19, 2006 07:44 PM

Unfortunately, my understanding of the bill is that it preserves all language accomodation requirements of previous laws, including ordinances about bilingual education or ballots. Link

Posted by: Amber at May 19, 2006 08:52 PM